"Self-titled" CD (Restless)
I have heard quite a bit of seriously disturbed music in my day, ranging from fucked-up punk and death metal to the apotheosis of cheese, Robert Goulet records. However, this album may well transcend all definitions and standards set to date for unusual music. Frankly, this makes Esquivel resemble a dilettante and shames Combustible Edison and all their friends. It's ostensibly nothing more than people playing with Moogs, but oh, how those Moogs do sing! Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" becomes a bossa nova, Weezer's "Buddy Holly" mutates into a marching band anthem and Green Day's "Basket Case" becomes Abba-styled 1970's prog rock Muzak for elevators and waiting rooms. This is utterly, patently demonic and twisted. However, it is also sublimely brilliant and one of the best albums released this year, precisely because it reconstructs these songs so radically, revealing the covert influences which the bands tried (probably desperately) to conceal but this is only the barest list of the heresies these lads commit. To hear the rest of the sacrilege these boys commit against the alt-rock canon, you need to get it yourself.